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Spain Jurisdiction News

PokerStars' SCOOP for France and Spain exceeds record-breaking guarantee
The online poker festival surpassed its €10 million guarantee by more than €1.7 million, coming to €11,768,035.

PokerStars FRESH tournament attracted more than 30,000 entries
The first joint tournament series between French and Spanish players generated a prize pool of €6,149,751 across 50 scheduled events.

PokerStars 'Fresh' Series launches with €5 million guarantee
The new France Espania Hold'em Series celebrates player pool liquidity in France and Spain.

Pragmatic Play enters Spanish and Portuguese markets
The slots developer's games have been approved for distribution in the countries by gambling regulators.

NetEnt adds table games to Spanish content portfolio
As the company marks its second anniversary in the regulated territory, it will add table games that include online and mobile roulette and blackjack.

PokerStars adds new live events in Latin America, Asian markets
PokerStars Festival 2017 will visit Panama and the Czech Republic in March, South Korea, Macau and Monaco in April, Chile in May, Spain in June and August, the Philippines in July and Uruguay in September, with more stops to come.

Kambi signs deal with Greentube
The sportsbook provider has signed a contract that will see its state-of-the-art sports betting service distributed to Greentube's brands.

iSoftBet to showcase ambitious plans at ICE 2017
After hitting a number of milestones in 2016, the company has announced its intention to enhance its content offering through the release of in-house and branded games.

Top 10 numbers you need to know from the 2016 WSOP Main Event final table
As we enter the ninth year of the November Nine Era, Casino City's Gary Trask crunches the numbers and comes away with some compelling trends and tidbits regarding this weekend's 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event final table.

iSoftBet announces strategic partnership with Gamingtec
The company will provide its content portfolio to Gamingtec's collection of international casino partners.

Poker Hall of Fame announces 2016 inductees
Todd Brunson and Carlos Mortensen have been selected by the public and voted in by a 44-person panel composed of current Poker Hall of Famers. An induction ceremony and dinner will be held 26 October at Binion's Gambling Hall.

GVC teams up with Scientific Games
Scientific Games Corporation's WMS studio will supply its online content to GVC's Spanish and Belgian bwin Casino, PartyCasino and Party Poker brands.

GVC expands regulated market offering with iSoftBet
Under a multi-year agreement, iSoftBet will supply over 40 HTML5 and Flash online slots to the company's online and mobile casinos.

GVC signs content deal with Microgaming
Under the agreement, the company will provide the Quickfire product suite to players in Spain, Belgium and Bulgaria in the coming weeks.

Tom Horn Gaming partners with iSoftBet
The agreement will see Tom Horn's selection of video slots intregrated into iSoftBet's Game Aggregation Platform.

iAffiliates presents new promotion
From Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, affiliates can compete against one another in order to gain points to get a chance at winning a luxury vacation.

iSoftBet adds NSoft titles to platform
The provider will offer virtual sports games through its Game Aggregation Platform following a deal with NSoft.

PokerStars announces new live event format
Starting in 2017, PokerStars sponsored live events will be separated into PokerStars Championship events and PokerStars Festival events, and will visit cities worldwide.

European Poker Tour Season 13 begins in Barcelona
The tour, taking place alongside the Estrellas Poker Tour, runs until Aug. 28 and features charity events along the way.

Spain: Online gaming revenue up
Spain's online gambling revenue shot up 24 percent during Q1

Playtech allows Spanish licensees access to slots games
Playtech's full slots portfolio includes online, mobile and land-based slots featuring original and franchise-branded content.

Spain introduces new rules on online gambling adverts
New online gambling advertising and marketing regulations have been introduced by Spain's gambling regulator.

Giant 'El Gordo' lottery grips Spain
Spain's well known "El Gordo" lottery has been drawn.

World-renowned DJ Roger Sanchez will perform at EPT Barcelona Poker Festival party
The party, which is being sponsored by PokerTracker, will kick-off at 10.30pm on August 20 at Teatre Principal, located in the heart of the city’s famous Las Ramblas boulevard.

EPT gears up for spectacular 100th event in Barcelona
An unrivaled schedule of pursuits will be on offer for all players at the historic 100th EPT event.

EPT set to break qualifier records for 100th event in Barcelona
The historic 100th EPT kicks off mid-August and numbers already look set to beat last year’s EPT Barcelona Poker Festival record of 378 qualifiers.


Spain's online gaming market officially opened on 5 June 2012, with the launch of .es dedicated websites. In the first three quarters of 2013 alone, the Spanish market generated EUR 168 million in gross gaming revenue.

But the path to becoming a lucrative regulated online gaming market was a slow and sometimes tortuous one.

In 2006, the Spanish government enacted legislation allowing sports betting in shops, in retail outlets and over the internet. Regional governments could impose conditions as they saw fit. Madrid was the first to draft regulations and license conditions. Spain had been reluctant to sanction other forms of online gambling. However, some independent lottery agents for El Gordo had maintained a healthy presence on the web.

In 2010, the Sectorial Gaming Commission, consisting of the 17 Autonomous Regions' (AR) gaming authorities, the State Lotteries Monopoly, and the National Gaming Board, met to discuss publishing new draft laws to regulate online gaming. The draft laws would not contain specifics on taxation. Some ARs initiated drafting local regulations.

The Region of Madrid issued licenses as soon as operators met specified requirements and extended licenses to existing land-based casinos and bingo halls for offering online betting, casino games and bingo.

Then, in 2011, the country's cabinet approved a draft law to regulate all forms of remote gaming. The bill created a new commission to oversee advertising practices, prevent access to unlicensed internet casinos, and implement fines for operators and citizens not adhering to the new gaming laws.

Spain's Minister for the Economy estimated a legalized online gambling industry could generate annual revenues of EUR 200 million at the time – a number that turned out to be prescient.

In May 2011, the new Gambling Law was endorsed and passed by the Spanish Congress. The law allowed for the establishment and development of online gambling with the exception of games exclusive to the National Lottery (LAE) and Blind Charity Lottery (ONCE). The bill also excluded live in-play betting and bingo, due to the potential for dangerously addictive effects. Spain approved adding slot machines to online casinos in spring 2013, and in October 2014 the country announced it would be awarding licenses to operators wishing to offer slots and other online gaming products.

The bill, recognizing there was a thriving "gray" market already in existence in Spain, gave operators until 1 January 2012, to obtain licenses and bring their advertising practices into compliance with regulations. Online gaming licenses needed to be obtained and would be valid for an 18-month period.

Companies that had been serving the Spanish market were not sanctioned. But they were required to pay back taxes (up to five years). It is estimated that owed EUR 33 million (USD 42 million), Sportingbet approximately GBP 20 million (USD 32 million) and 888 close to EUR 15 million (USD 20 million).

Tax rates moving forward ranged from 20% to 25%.

Individual licenses must be obtained for each game type provided by the applicant. Licenses are granted to companies willing to house their servers in Spain and operate via a .es domain name.

Like France and Italy, Spain segregated its pool of poker players from the rest of the world.

Unlicensed operators illegally participating in the Spanish market can face penalties as high as EUR 50 million.

In September 2012, ARJEL (France's regulation body) announced it would enter into cooperation with Spain's Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) to share information about legalized online gambling and help with operating each other's online poker network, but France's parliament nixed the idea of sharing player liquidity for poker.

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